Responding to the need for trained professionals to serve in one of the fastest growing career fields, UMass Dartmouth partnered with Salve Regina University to develop a pathway for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Salve and a master’s degree in data science from UMass Dartmouth in just five years.
Fast-track degree in mathematics and data science
Under the memorandum of understanding for the “3+2 BA/MS in mathematics and data science,” Salve students will spend their first three years on the Newport campus majoring in mathematics together with the newly launched minor in data analytics, and will spend their final two years at UMass Dartmouth to complete the master’s degree in data science. At the end of the fourth year, students in the program will graduate with their class at Salve Regina’s commencement. Both the data analytics minor and the 3+2 program are available to Salve students immediately.
“All in five years, students in this program acquire a highly respected values-based liberal arts education, the flexibility and marketability of a BA in mathematics with a minor in data analytics, and a master’s degrees in data science – one of the fast-growing and highest paid professions,” said Ernest Rothman, professor and chair of Salve’s mathematical sciences department. “The development of this program was a truly collaborative effort, which produced a very fine academic program and strong synergy between Salve Regina and UMass Dartmouth.”
The fields of data analytics and data science are fundamentally concerned with collecting, cleaning and analyzing raw data to identify patterns, draw conclusions, gain insights and support data-driven decision-making,” Rothman explained. “The discipline is built on a foundation of certain areas of mathematics, computer science, statistics and accepted practice within an application area.”
Training and education for in-demand careers
The National Academy of Sciences, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, Business Insider and others cite data science among the fastest growing and highest paid career fields today. By 2040, it is likely that most jobs will require at least some basic data science skills, while millions of new jobs will become available to highly skilled data scientists, the NAS predicts. Business Insider reported data scientist as the best job in America based on recent surveys considering job satisfaction, job availability and median base salary.
“This is an emerging field that is impacting nearly all academic disciplines and industries,” said Scott Field, assistant professor of mathematics at UMass Dartmouth. “Fields such as healthcare, marine sciences, business management and political science – to name a few – are increasingly using data in more sophisticated ways to drive inquiry and decision making.”
Field said the naturally broad and multi-disciplinary nature of data science is in many ways a natural fit for the liberal arts education. “We are pleased to be partnering with Salve Regina to allow Salve students the opportunity to pursue both a well-balanced liberal arts education as well as specialized technical training in data science at the masters level at UMass Dartmouth. Our master's program will surely benefit from the diversity of interests and goals that Salve students will bring into our program.”